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How exercise helps me feel good

Ann the poet

Soon I’ll be going to the gym. I'm very tired and part of me wants to stay on the sofa but exercise can be good for fatigue so I’ll go - and enjoy a brew with my friend afterwards. Just arriving at the gym feels like an achievement, so doing some exercise while I’m there is a bonus!

While I'm at the gym I know I’ll feel great; I'll get totally caught up in the moment, which is good for stress relief too.

I try to go swimming at least once a week and to the gym twice a week but I usually only make it once a week.

> Read more about the benefits of exercise

No one cares what you look like

I used to worry about going to the gym especially if my MS symptoms were causing me problems. It can be embarrassing having to grab a leg with both hands to lift it onto or off a piece of equipment. As can my face turning purple after about two minutes on an exercise bike, and if I don't rest for long enough in between bursts of peddling.

Stumbling or staggering across the floor can be embarrassing too. I try to remember there is no point in feeling embarrassed. No one else is even looking, they are focusing on their own goals. If they were looking they'd just see someone trying their best and there's nothing embarrassing about that.

The benefits of moving

The feeling of my legs getting stronger is brilliant. I always worry about losing strength in them when the weather is cold, but time in the gym or swimming pool helps me feel more confident.

It's much harder to move around during the winter, so at this time of year I also get the Wii Fit out. It's great being able to exercise in the living room. If I fall over I can fall right onto the sofa and it's so much fun it doesn't really feel like exercise.

There are lots of great fitness tips out there, things you can do in a chair or even in bed. I find that stretching is good for spasms and twitches and for my overall wellbeing especially in this cold weather when it seems easier to stumble and pull a muscle.

If you can go to the gym or do any kind of exercise at home it's great for you both physically and mentally.

> Get tips on exercise and MS